A representative House?

Lord Tyler

The indefatigable researchers of the Lords Library have updated the information they gave me earlier in the year on the age profile of Peers.

Excluding those that have taken “leave of absence” or are disqualified there are now only two Members under 40 (both of them are 39) and there are 12 over the age of 90 still eligible to participate. The most popular age group for the whole active House is now between 70 and 79, although the Liberal Democrats and Bishops (who automatically retire at 70) bring the figure down to 60-69.

The Library have reported some other figures. Again for the whole active House 74.4% are male, 25.6% female, but there are some small but significant variations in the different groups: Conservatives 76.9%/23.1%, Labour 68.6%/31.4% , Liberal Democrat 64.8%/35.2% and Crossbench 78.0%/22.0%. Despite all the recent efforts to make the House more representative of the nation at large – and the resulting total active population increase to 815 – it doesn’t look much different. And if it was possible to tie down exactly where they all come from I suspect that London and the South East would still be wildly over-represented at the expense of more remote parts of the UK.

Despite the much vaunted benefits of appointment for ensuring a balanced membership, the system is manifestly failing. The only way to make the Lords more representative in every sense is to return to the question of elections. The 2012 Lords Reform Bill, which gained a huge Second Reading majority in the Commons, remains the best place to start. After all, had it been enacted there would by now there would be 1/3 of the planned elected “Senators” (or whatever they ended up being called) sent to the red benches by voters in every corner of the country.

3 comments for “A representative House?

  1. 20/04/2016 at 8:51 am

    It seems the Lib Dem contingent are helping to improve the age and gender balance in the Lords significantly. Therefore it’s lucky there haven’t been elections to the Lords as we would presumably have lost most of you!

  2. MilesJSD
    20/04/2016 at 8:11 pm

    What do The People need ?
    1. A “minimum but sustainworthy income, dwelling, and respectively the 25%-timeframed “workload” and the 75%-timeframed “lifeload”.

    How might that be most ecolonomicly and egalitarianly-satisfactorily achieved ?
    2. By Listing and prioritising all of the human-needs,
    at the same time distinguishing them from “wants”, “desires”, dreams”, and “outright-fantasies, illusions, and delusions”;
    and accompanying each by “how most affordably and effectively met ?”

    3. The “need” for the huge number of parliamentarians and civil-servants could then be decimated, to every-one’s real benefit.*
    * Unemployment, Sickness, Poverty – these are not such that they are a “benefit” to the victim;

    “such “benefits” are a malfeasantly-iatrogenic deception, a plain “lie”.
    All such payments need to be called “Allowances”, even “Life-supports”.

    Government needs to be cleaning-up this World-supporting English language
    not further spin-doctoring and “whitewash-wording” it.

    incidentally, why are not both the ‘No Lose’ Cooperative Problem Solving Method III,
    and the “Three-cornered contructive “win-win-win” used ?
    Let us also face the hidden-truth:
    Since we are supposed to be a world-leading democracy, even regularly parading and triumphantly marching in that “Identity”, that we are “the primary sovereign power”
    where the People are so well-versed in Governance that they no longer need to keep their Governance, information, and democratic-scrutiny-abilities up-to-date,
    why are we still not capable,
    nor trustworthy enough under the Constitution and going Politics,
    of constructing our own Needs-&-Affordable-Hows budget, shortest-term (say one-year) right up through to longest-term (say 100 years) and thereupon and thereby, channel our “voting” and “democratic-stance”.
    “Talking”, especially “win-lose” adversarily-competitively, is such a huge waste of time and energy;
    and sitting-sitting-sitting is blatantly unhealthy, and most certainly no hoilistic-health-building example to be emulated.
    Paraphrasingly Summarised:
    Parliamenting is wasteful, unhealthy, and prone to many kinds of corruption. MPs should not be allowed to “hijack” the highly-skilled medical-clinic term “Surgery”, for seeing people in their electoral-office.

    The main burden of Governance should be squarely upon the shoulders of The People, “no-fault-ability-graded” to draw up the Collective Needs Lists and also each their own individual “all-round-life-budget”.

  3. maude elwes
    21/04/2016 at 1:27 pm

    I read this with great interest, Lord Tyler. The age of forty is way too young to be in the house of Lords, even if it is only two. The reason being, they have to be fed and watered by the tax payer for approximately forty years. And the experience they have in the real world is very limited.

    If they are exceptionally clever then they should be in their community trying to make it in the usual way, presumably with families and kids, etc., only that way can they represent the country as they should. Fifty for the Lords is quite young enough. And a good time to join such an institution as they have a great deal of knowledge of society and what it really needs by that time. Once gaining the inflated position of ‘Lord’ they are removed from true connection to ordinary people and cap doffing alters the psyche of both parties in acquaintance.

    The size of the Lords today is absurd. And getting worse. Come the next election it will be an even bigger farce. The cronies will expect payment big time on all sides so it has to be changed by election. But how and by whom?

    The general public are unlikely to have heard of those not in the limelight and therefore know little of their ability and stance on important political matters. The Commons will choose their favourites or nearest and dearest, as always, and the money men will pay a hefty fee for the robe.

    So, who is going to be the clever person who will decide how this should be done in the ‘best interests’ of the country? And they better do it quickly. The ‘people’ are getting explosive regarding the fix we all find ourselves trapped in with very few, in reality, having a voice in the running of their country.

    After the ‘in-out’ election, it will be dire no matter what is decided. As, if it is ‘out’ we will have the yanks beating down the door with their corrupt ideas as they are presently, and doing it without one vote for them, and if it is ‘in,’ Europe will be dictating our forward path of expansion without any of them being directly elected either. We will find the country are pawns to the highest bidder. Which is not far away from what we already have.

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